Cat's Unique Dalmatian like Fur Coloring Has Internet Purring: 'Catcow'

A distinctive looking black and white cat is wowing pet lovers on TikTok.

Floki's owner regularly posts videos of their feline friend to social media, however, one recent clip of the stunningly beautiful cat appears to have caught the eye more than most.

It features Floki, front and center, getting to grips with a kitchen tap. The footage, in itself, is adorable enough, with the young feline evidently flummoxed at a mysterious source of running water.

Floki paws at the stream of water coming from the tap and appears startled when liquid begins splashing in its direction. Thankfully the cat works out that it can drink the liquid gathered on its now-wet paw, though a simple bowl of water might prove more effective.

Regardless of the cat's antics in the clip, it would seem for most commenting on the video, which has been viewed 3.5 million times, the real focus is on Floki's coat. The footage, posted under the handle thecat_floki, can be viewed here.

Giving the cat the appearance of a Dalmatian dog or even a farm cow, the origins of the feline's distinctive coat remain something of a mystery.

In 2021, scientists at Stanford discovered a potential clue to the origins of these distinctive patterns: the buildup of a gene called DKK4 found in thicker regions of the cat's skin which yielded darker hair compared with the lighter patches found in the thinner skin areas.

Researchers know that DKK4 reacts with a class of proteins called WNTs which combine to create a pre-pattern of light and dark hair in cats. However, scientists are still unclear as to what guides these patterns.

There are also other genes that need to be examined further. Genes that govern things like why some cats have spots and other felines have stripes.

In any case, regardless of the science behind it, the results are often unique and can be quite spectacular as Floki's coat demonstrates. Those commenting on the distinctive feline's video were quick to note the animal's unique look. "How beautiful is this cat!" Nicolelouise05 said. "This is the smallest cow I've ever seen," Maematiny added. "So freakin cute!"

"Such a beautiful kitty!" Sungmi wrote. "So unique." Lindsay Postema, meanwhile, declared: "I want a cat cow." Joe Devin said: "That's a Mewcow, I want one so beautiful," with DeityFreeHappenings writing: "That is the coolest looking cat!"

Auntysasstherine83 branded the unique feline "the catcow" while Ex Ballet Boy wondered if it was a "Cow or panda?" Xxannajaynxx97 saw it differently, dubbing Floki the "Dalmatian cat" with _rae______ commenting: "I'm confused is that a zebra, cow or cat?"

Others like wagawagaRena, meanwhile, were in awe, asking: "How much more beautiful can a cat get?"

Newsweek has contacted thecat_floki for comment.

A black and white cat.
Stock image of a black and white cat - a distinctive looking feline has been turning heads on TikTok. mikeinlondon/Getty